View Full Version : Electric shutters

Barry Kirsten
31-Jul-2011, 01:10
A guy on eBay is offering solenoid-actuated shutters. They appear to be from some sort of ancient photographic equipment. The link is:


I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with this kind of shutter, also any thoughts about its suitability for mounting behind old barrel lenses. One possible limitation I see is the opening size of 40 mm which would probably be too small for long lenses. But suitable for something like 8-12" focal length? Any ideas?



Arne Croell
31-Jul-2011, 01:30
That could be a shutter from a process camera. Timing would be from an external unit you would have to recreate.
Whether the opening is too small depends not on the focal length, but the back lens diameter, the angle of view of the lens, and the distance from the shutter opening.

Steven Tribe
31-Jul-2011, 01:37
If this is the seller who has a very long name "Calcovsky-----------" - then there is a very long thread about the shutters/person which ended a few months ago.

Arne Croell
31-Jul-2011, 05:48
Steven is right, I had forgotten about the old thread. Here is one: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=69765

Barry Kirsten
31-Jul-2011, 11:42
Thanks Arne and Steven, a wealth of information in those links, both about the character and his product. I think I'll give both a wide berth.

Thanks again,


31-Jul-2011, 13:00
This would be great for an enlarger someone has cobbled together with a CFL bulb or Omegalight enlarger where you can leave the lamp on continuously while printing.

Dan Fromm
31-Jul-2011, 13:09
Barry, if you watch eBay long enough you'll find a fair number of Ilex and Melles-Griot electronic shutters. Most are #3s but there are a few longer ones. Very few have the control boxes so they seem unusable.

This site http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~holder/ gives directions for making a digital controller for these shutters. Click and photo stuff and follow the links.

FWIW, I have a #3 Ilex electronic shutter and the remains of the oscilloscope camera it was in. The remains contain a control box. Marked shutter speeds are 4 sec to 1/125 (!). The wretched thing runs very slow at all speeds.

31-Jul-2011, 17:37
I don't think any of these shutters would be as nice or elegant as a Compur #1 Electronic. They got a lot of grumbling from traditionalists but mine is smooth running and always right-on accurate. Can't say that about the typical Synchro-Compur.

Barry Kirsten
1-Aug-2011, 00:01
Thanks guys, I'll have a look at alternatives now my awareness is raised. I've heard of some of these electronic shutters, but have never used any of them. How does the Sinar shutter compare?



Steven Tribe
1-Aug-2011, 01:29
The Sinar/Copal is a great shutter. Have no experience of the electric/electronic types. Would have liked a bigger opening, though.

1-Aug-2011, 01:48
How does the Sinar shutter compare?

They had a reputation for unreliability (compared to the rock solid sinar/Copal) even when new - few people ever dared to use them in the field. I doubt that ageing has made them any more reliable.

Joerg Krusche
1-Aug-2011, 02:16
Compur 5FS .. 1/60 thru 30 seconds .. very smooth/no shake.. controlled and operated from behind the camera.. reasonable opening #5.. allows to front and rear mount and support thru adapters also the biggies in the 1000 mm range .. a way to go.